Bradley Byrne as Secretary of Navy possibility? Says he is ‘flattered,’ but likelihood of being asked ‘pretty low’
As of late, there has been a tremendous amount of turmoil in the U.S. Navy at a very critical time in the country. In the wake of the USS Theodore Roosevelt coronavirus outbreak and the dismissal of Capt. Brett E. Crozier, as the ship’s commanding officer, came Tuesday’s resignation of acting Secretary of the Navy Thomas Modly.
Modly will be replaced by Undersecretary of the Army James McPherson, a retired rear admiral. Waiting in the wings to take the post permanently is President Donald Trump’s nominee Kenneth Braithwaite, the U.S. ambassador to Norway. The U.S. Senate has yet to take up Braithwaite’s nomination. However, that could be in jeopardy as well, according to a Politico report from earlier this year.
Meanwhile, in Alabama, with eight months left in his congressional term is U.S. Rep. Bradley Byrne (R-Fairhope), who is coming off a failed bid for the U.S. Senate seat up in November. Despite lacking military service, Byrne has ties to the U.S. Navy and congressional experience dealing with it as well. If the Braithwaite nomination falls through, could Byrne, a Trump loyalist, be a Secretary of the Navy possibility?
It was raised by State Sen. Chris Elliott (R-Daphne), who currently serves in the state senate seat representing Baldwin County’s Eastern Shore of Mobile Bay that Byrne once occupied.
— Senator Chris Elliott (@SenatorElliott) April 7, 2020
In an interview with Huntsville’s WVNN on Tuesday, Byrne responded to a question about that possibility, saying he would consider if offered but downplayed the possibility.
“Of course, if the opportunity presented itself, I would,” Byrne said. “You know, I’m on the seapower subcommittee. I work with the Navy a lot and have loved the work I’ve done with them. I certainly understand the importance that they play to the defense of the United States. The President has already got someone appointed to be the Secretary of the Navy awaiting confirmation. Modly just tendered his resignation today, and the President has already appointed the Undersecretary of the Army to be the acting Secretary of the Navy. The likelihood I’m going to be called to do something like that is pretty low. I’ll just keep on doing my job as the congressman from the first congressional district and be happy with it.”
“Don’t get me wrong — I’m flattered, and I’d love to do it,” he added. “The President has already got people in place, and this is no time to be upsetting the applecart. But you know, if the President of the United States calls me up and says, ‘I need you to go do something with the Navy,’ I’m going to say, ‘Yes sir, Mr. Commander-in-Chief,’ and go do what he asked me to do. I just don’t think it’s very likely that that is going to happen.”
@Jeff_Poor is a graduate of Auburn University and the University of South Alabama, the editor of Breitbart TV, a columnist for Mobile’s Lagniappe Weekly and host of Huntsville’s “The Jeff Poor Show” from 2-5 p.m. on WVNN.